Medway Ashland wins Nan Rheault, Martha’s Vineyard takes third

Aubrey Ashmun locks sticks with Scituate's Allie Benkhart Saturday night at the M.V. Arena. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard girls varsity hockey team will have to wait yet another year to win its first Nan Rheault Invitational Tournament.

Medway Ashland won the 12th annual event Sunday afternoon at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena with a 1-0 shootout win over defending champion Scituate after the teams skated to a 2-2 tie through 45 minutes of regulation play and one overtime period.

The Vineyard girls had to settle for third place with a 5-2 consolation game victory over Peabody. Kassidy Bettencourt notched her first varsity hat trick and senior goaltender Katy Smith, back-up to starter Texe Craig, earned her first win in only her second career start. Coach John Fiorito named both as players of the game. Emily Cimeno had a goal and three assists, Belle Dinning scored a goal with two assists, Aubrey Ashmun assisted twice, and Sydney Minnehan once.

“Katy Smith is a senior who has started only one other game in her life and she’s a good goalie,” coach Fiorito said. “She’s worked her butt off to become a good goalie…she works hard in practice every day, knowing she’s not going to play and that takes great character.” Last year Katy participated in the Tim Thomas goaltending camp and was invited back as a counselor.

Coach Fiorito also had great praise for Kassidy Bettencourt, who has quietly become, along with Emily Cimeno, the team’s leading goal scorer. “We don’t know how she does it, she’s like the old Phil Esposito, kind of stands in front of the net and gets goals,” he said, “and she backchecks…she has a gift to be in the right place at the right time.”

Saturday night in the tournament opener against Southeast Mass. Girls Hockey League rivals Scituate, the Vineyarders (6-4-1, 4-3-1 SEMGHL) came out flat and tentative. The Lady Sailors took a 3-0 lead on goals by Oriana McDonough, Emily Brown, and Kori Garland before Emily Cimeno finally gave the hosts some hope with a goal at 6:58 of the third period, assisted by Aubrey Ashmun.

The Vineyarders dominated for the rest of the game. Ashmun set up Kassidy Bettencourt to make it 3-2 with 1:58 to play but it proved to be too little too late. The Scituate defense stiffened and the Vineyarders were unable to get the puck out of their own zone and pull goalie Texe Craig for the extra attacker.

The girls will have a well earned rest until January 26 at 1 pm, when they skate against Quincy/North Quincy in a league game at the M.V. Arena.